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Rome Reports

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The Rome Experience: American seminarians come to Rome

Studying in Rome is just what this group of young seminarians from around the United States came to do in the Eternal City.

Rev. Eric NielsenDirector, Rome Experience“Every seminarian should come to Rome at least once".

Father Eric Nielsen is the director of the Rome Experience, a program that gives 18 seminarians from various parts of the U.S the chance to take classes in Rome for six weeks.

Rev. Eric NielsenDirector, Rome Experience“Because you do need to see the universality of the church, you need to see the beauty of the church that exists here in Rome, you need to understand the historical nature of the church and really see in tangibly, to touch the history of the church".

Ryan O’NealSeminarian, Loveland, Colorado“I’m not just a Catholic, I’m a Roman Catholic. And understanding the importance of that has given me confidence going back".

Ryan O’Neal is four and a half weeks into his own Rome experience. He says being here has played an important role in the shaping of his vocation.

Ryan O’nealSeminarian, Loveland, Colorado“Seeing the importance of the Latin heritage, the language, the culture. Not just that but the beauty the art and the history of what Rome is and how that can be a unifying aspect and a culturally enriching aspect. As a Catholic I only knew the parish or the diocese that I lived in".

While the young men spend most of their time in the classroom, they’ve also put aside time to visit famous catacombs and churches, and they’ve also attended the Pope’s general audience. And although their six weeks have been mainly concerned with their formation, when in Rome, they haven’t resist doing as the Romans do.Ryan O’NealSeminarian, Loveland, Colorado“The food has been very good. I’ve had pasta constantly. And that hasn’t been a problem for me".

This group of seminarians is a real melting pot. The students have come from Colorado, Wisconsin, and Tennessee, to share a unique experience in a very special place.